Off-Topic w/ Gordon Petersen
Well this one goes way back and we still try to connect a few dots here and there, but… Gordon and me met in our mutual home turf Hannover and even earlier in the rural areas of Alfeld, Elze and Gronau, Niedersachsen. A little water ran down the Leine since then and almost ten years later we share the same city again in Nuremberg, Bavaria, where both of us work in the sportswear & lifestyle industry, in which Gordon is no stranger in. A Jack-Of-All-Trades who has stories and experiences for ages. Put this is only part what we will touch on in this episode of our recent “Off-Topic” of course. Together we went on a mission to explore the ice-cream stalls and Bánh mì of our town to talk about (sub)-cultural background, attitude and motivation. Enjoy.
Please give us a brief review of your favorite record in 2020 so far and a few recent bands we should not miss.
UFF, can’t you start with any less complex question, Wörn? I mean…c´mon, please! haha
OK, I quickly checked several releases, which came to my mind and to my surprise they were all released in 2019 (WTF?). It seems like I am not up to date anymore. But on the other side 2020 feels strange ANYWAY, so I should have expected that! About the second part of your questions. The last couple of weeks I’ve listened (most of the time) to late 90´s /early 20´s HC and death metal, mixed with a bright and fun sparkle of dark wave. Today I have listend to “FIREBURN – Don’t Stop The Youth” on heavy rotation, if that is any help?
Being raised and socialised in a straight edge community, what do you think are the most valuable takeaways it gave you?
It´s my 20th year of being Straight Edge and I never ever regret it a single second. Back then I was obviously too young to see the full picture, but retrospective I can say my adolescences was filled with so many different aspects of life, just because I was Straight Edge. Positive and negative aspects, to be fair. I mean, living a sober life is actually one of the last few resorts, which society takes personal and consider it as an affront. Nothing is as punk as that. So you have to stand your ground, not matter what. Having said that, a clear mind can be the start of so many positive things, if it´s paired with an open mindset mentality and I honestly was lucky enough to embrace a subcultural music scene, with a strong and vibrant global network, paired with PMA. I met people from all over the world – like a small microcosmos.
One of the most valuable lessons – lifelong friendship does exist. In a DIY scene like HC, another important takeaway for me is: Do what you say, and don’t just talk! And the third lesson: There is absolutely nothing wrong in being different – your life / your choice. and last but not least: Straight Edge is a lifetime commitment – nothing more, nothing less.
Being sober in a club of wasted fucks… How can you make that and even be entertained?
No problem, if the party is good. And some of those wasted fucks might be my friends anyway, haha. Honestly, I got asked that question so often in my life on so many different occasions, so the following answer sounds harsh and arrogant, but for me it´s quite simple – if you need such a trigger to really enjoy a specific situation (party, date, home alone, football away days, concerts, etc.), there might be something else, that you should worry about. What holds you back? Oh, and if the party is shit, just leave. If the music is too boring to dance, go home. Otherwise, why can’t you enjoy it? And if you are angry, sad, depressed, or in any other negative mood – alcohol or drugs have never ever offered a helping hand, or solved the shit for you, no? I mean, not that I remember! Getting wasted is your decision, not an uncontrollable causal THING. One of the few things in your life, that is 100% in your hands. And if you are not in control anymore, don’t hesitate to ask for help, even if it’s professional help. We all have faced phases in life, which seemed overwhelming, crazy and tough. Nobody is perfect.
And to sound even more arrogant (no front): If I would really REALLY need the “wasted fucks” stuff, to express myself, let go, or having fun, what a pitiable life I would live. Not all my friends are EDGE and not all of them listen to heavy music and that’s absolutely OK! Just to make that pretty clear. Being EDGE (before anything else) is a super personal decision. If you don’t do it for yourself, an important question would be –> What is going on with you? All these choices in life, so tough, so many choices to make. Choose wisely ????
What was the best time for being a fan of hardcore music?
Calling myself a fan of hardcore music sounds weird. I live hardcore music, maybe not as much as “back then”, but it is still part of me, my POV, opinions and my personality. As soon as you take a deep dive into any subcultural scene, it is becoming more than fanism. To be fair, some of my favorite bands in HC doesn’t have the smartest lyrics, I have to admit. Some of them are just, let´s call it, focused, but I don’t always need the deepest metaphor or thoughts for all world/life/society issues. On the other hand, some of the lyrics are so hard and a pure reality check, so they basically show you a new horizon and you start questioning so many things. And that’s what I loved about the music from the get go, which didn’t change till today. Beside that, I love hard music. Some riffs really push buttons in my brain. I don’t want to sound like an old man, saying “back then is was so much better – Unity, you know”. HC is still a vital scene and bands popping up here and there, which are able to surprise you. Some really still catch me and I really hope, that it won’t stop anytime soon.
So the best time is – yesterday, today, tomorrow – always!
Your 3 most favorite food places in germany?
Only three? First your record question and now this? You’re killing me again!
Ok ok, ähm, not in particular order:Ryong (Berlin)Al Contadino Sotto Le Stelle (Berlin)Napoli (Hannover)
Most favorite softdrink?
Fritz Cola ≥ ginger bear
Bandshirts over streetwear?
What was the best time for being a fan of punk and hardcore music?
For me it was the early 2Ks. Learning to make music without having any skills at all. Playing in bands and touring in a little van together with friends was awesome. But I can’t listen to it anymore. Too dark, too aggressive, too noisy and so negative and grim. I mean that specific sub-genre. I still love The Wipers, Hot Snakes and The Mob, especially when it gets that little wave-touch. Oh, last week Igor and me listened to that “From Ashes Rise” record, still some good moods in there.
What’s your prognosis for the post-covid fashion industry we live in?
Well, that can be anything and nothing, right? Crossing fingers, that consumers will reset their focus, and gain more awareness of their responsibilities and power, so they gonna buy durable and sustainable products. And by that, I hope to see more brands focusing on a high percentage of material and product circularity. But the other way round would be fine for me as well. The niche and independent brands already show, what’s possible. And on top of that, we all should be a bit more humble and show some humility. That would be really fantastic.
How do you find purpose in the things you do and what is it that keeps you motivated?
If you do not have intrinsically motivation to do the next step, look behind the curtain, see what’s up, it can be really tricky from time to time. For me, basically, a lot of motivation is rooted in curiosity. Maybe I’ve kept a small boy inside my head, as I am still keen to ask “why?”. A simple, but pretty intense and effective question, if you think about it for a while. “Why?” will lead you from micro to macro or the other way round. And I am also not afraid of boredom, so I do not struggle that much in daily life situations. Routine is not only a bad thing.
Famous last words?
Learn more about Gordon
Interview & Photos by: Wörn dauerfeuer